Meet the Filmmakers – July 25th Online Panelists

On July 25th, 2021 at 6pm (CST), First Nations Film and Video Festival Inc will begin a series of online panel discussions with Indigenous/Native American filmmakers, in an effort to promote spaces for Indigenous/Native American voices. The series will begin July 25, with two more panel discussions taking place in September and October 2021.

The topic of the first panel “Then You Should Just Make Your Own Movies – Why are Native Directors Overlooked?” will be discussed by five established and up-and-coming filmmakers. The panel for the first session includes:

Doreen Manuel, MFA, Canthupka Kakin (Running Wolf), Secwepemc/Ktunaxa
Director of “Unceded Chiefs”
Doreen is the sixth child of Grand Chief George Manuel and Spiritual Leader Marceline Manuel. She a residential school survivor, mother of three children and is an award-winning filmmaker. Doreen is the Director of the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation, and serves on the Board of Directors for Knowledge Network, Women in Film & Television, Vancouver International Film Festival and Moving Images Distribution. She also serves on the Motion Picture Production Association of BC Equity and Inclusion Committee. She is an advisor to the Telefilm Indigenous Working Group, Telefilm Talent to Watch fund, TELUS Storyhive – Indigenous envelope, and Matriarch advisor to IM4 virtual and augmented reality training program. Doreen is a founder and instructor for the Tricksters and Writers feature film screenwriting program for Indigenous women and a founder of the Indigenous Digital Accelerator and the Filmmakers in Indigenous Leadership and Management Business Affairs program.

Joseph Erb (Cherokee Nation)
Director of “The Beginning They Told”, “Trail of Tears”, “Uktena and Thunder”, and “The Sun and the Great Frog”
Joseph Lewis Erb is a computer animator, film producer, educator, language technologist and artist enrolled in the Cherokee Nation. He earned his MFA degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Erb created the first Cherokee animation in the Cherokee language, “The Beginning They Told”. He used his artistic skills to teach Muscogee Creek and Cherokee students how to animate traditional stories. Most of this work is created in the Cherokee language. He has spent many years working on projects that will expand the use of Cherokee language in technology and the Arts. Erb teaches at University of Missouri in Digital Storytelling.

Shelley Niro, Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan.
Shelley Niro is a multi-media artist. Her work involves photography, painting, bead-work and film. Niro is conscious the impact post-colonial mediums have had on Indig-enous people. Like many artists from different Native communities, she works relent-lessly presenting people in realistic and explorative portrayals. Photo series such as MOHAWKS IN BEEHIVES, THIS LAND IS MIME LAND and M: STORIES OF WOMEN are a few of the genre of artwork.

Shelley graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Honours and received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario. Niro was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award presented through the Ontario Arts Council in 2012. In 2017 Ni-ro received the Governor General’s Award For The Arts from the Canada Council, The Scotiabank Photography Award and also received the Hnatyshyn Foundation RE-VEAL Award.

Niro recently received an honorary doctorate from the Ontario College of Arts and De-sign University. She also was the 2019 Laureate of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Photography.

Christopher Marshall (Muscogee Creek)
Director of feature film “Ramblin'”
Christopher attended college at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas where he first honed his skills working behind the camera. Since graduating Christopher as become a prolific videographer. When not behind the lens or sealed into an editing room, he likes to spend time with his loving and hilarious wife and their adorable son in Omaha, Nebraska.

April Maloney (Mi’kmaq – Nova Scotia, Canada)
Director of “Hockey: A Mi’kmaq Creation Story”
My name is April Maloney and I am an independent filmmaker in Atlantic Canada. I became involved with film after doing a video editing course at one of the local collages in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I am currently working on documenting some of our local elders here in my home community of Indian Brook.

You can get your FREE tickets to the panel by VISITING THIS LINK!

Topics for upcoming panels include:
September 2021:
“Where All the Natives At?”
Shrinking Native Spaces in Festival Arenas

October 2021:
“The Other 51%”
Indigenous Women Directors

Stay tuned here for more information on the upcoming panels, including participating filmmakers.

We look forward to seeing you there!

UPDATE: FNFVF Online Panel Discussion Series – Begins July 25

Joining us on our July 25th Panel Discussion are:
Shelley Niro (The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw, Kissed by Lightning)
Joseph Erb (Water is Life)
April Maloney (Hockey: A Mi’kmaq Creation Story)
Two more to come once confirmed! Join us!


We welcome you to join us for the inaugural FNFVF Online Panel Series for 2021 beginning July 25th at 6pm CST.

A panel of Indigenous/Native American filmmakers will hold a discussion on a topic of concern for the Indigenous filmmaking community.

July 25th topic is:
“Then You Should Just Make Your Own Movies”
Why are Native Directors Overlooked?

Attending filmmakers will be announced SOONEST. Keep checking here on!


Tickets are available starting July 5th.

You can check here:

The rest of the panel series will take place in September and October 2021. With your support, we can possibly do both a winter and spring panel discussion series.

We hope to can join us. We look forward to seeing you there!

With respect,

Ernest M Whiteman III (Northern Arapaho)
FNFVF Inc Director